The Philadelphia Press Association announced Sunday that several works published by the TIMES NEWS in 2010 have been singled out for the "Best of the Best" awards, the PPA's recognition of outstanding writing and photography in the Tri-State metro region.

In PPA competition, TIMES NEWS work is judged against daily newspapers in Greater Philadelphia, Delaware and New Jersey.

TIMES NEWS articles by Donald R. Serfass, Karen Cimms and Amy Miller will be recognized.

Serfass, Tamaqua, who serves as TN managing editor, features and human interest, captured six PPA honors in writing and photography.

They include: second place in business writing for 'Baked to perfection,' the story of Mickey Padora and the Tamaqua Italian Bakery, possibly the last anthracite-fired brick bake oven in the U.S.

Serfass also captured second place in feature photography for his photo illustration 'The Amber Lantern Massacre,' an image featuring Dave Mattson and Andy Leibenguth dressed in 1930s period clothing to portray an element of organized crime.

PPA judges also awarded Serfass third place in column writing for 'No more BS for Pennsylvania,' a commentary about the danger of biosolids; and in special subject writing for 'My hero, my son,' a book review about Joe Baddick's tribute to his son, Sgt. Andrew J. 'A.J.' Baddick, killed in Iraq during a rescue attempt.

Serfass also received honorable mention for a special subject piece, 'Buried alive', and in daily newspaper writing for his investigative story recounting the unsolved Amber Lantern Massacre.

The team of Karen Cimms and Amy Miller took third place in daily newspaper writing for 'DOWN SYNDROME A family's journey.'

The series explored life-changing implications of a Mahoning Township couple and daily challenges associated with caring for newly born, special needs twin sons.

Cimms, of the Jim Thorpe area, serves as TN lifestyle editor. Miller, of Nesquehoning, is a Mahoning Valley-based reporter.

The Philadelphia Press Association is comprised of editorial staffs of daily newspapers, wire services and radio and television stations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. At the PPA, all nominated newspaper stories are placed into one pool without regard to circulation size, meaning the TIMES NEWS goes head-to-head against the largest daily newspapers in Philadelphia, the Greater Delaware Valley and Tri-State area.

The PPA awards will be presented June 24 at the PPA's 66th Annual Dinner at the Bala Golf Club, Bala Cynwyd.

Also announced over the weekend, Serfass earned the Sweepstakes award of the Pennsylvania Press Club, led by five first place finishes in writing and photography. The award was presented Saturday at the Lantern Inn, Myerstown, Lebanon County.